US sales 2015 first half Large SUV segment

US SUV Large

The Large SUV segment shrank by 3% year-on-year, by far the worst performance of all non-premium SUV segments. It is important to keep in mind, however, that this trend is partly explained by the way this segment is defined – as really large SUVs with body-on-frame construction. And it is the fact that customers are gradually turning away from these rather uncouth underpinnings towards altogether more comfortable monocoque-based cars that will explain the decline of this segment, although many of the Midsize SUVs are, in fact, as big on the outside (and often bigger inside) than those in the Large SUV segment.

Chevrolet Suburban

Chevrolet Suburban

The market leader remains, by a long shot, the GM quartet of Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL, which are basically short/long wheelbase versions of the same car, while the differentiation between the Chevrolet and GMC is limited to exterior styling (mostly the plastic bits and lights – the metal pressings are all the same). Between them the four models account for almost 75% of the market, and, unsurprisingly, their 4% year-on-year fall in sales pretty much drives the market’s decline.

2015 H1 SUV LargeFollowing the GM quartet in terms of sales is the Ford Expedition, a car so ancient its main construction dates back to 1997! While successive facelifts have kept it in the race, there is no denying the fact that Ford seems to have totally relinquished this segment to its GM competitors, which outsell the blue oval almost 5-to-1.

Nissan Armada

Nissan Armada

In this segment the Japanese competitors come a long way after the homegrown models, with Nissan Armada selling a bit better than the Toyota Sequoia, even though the former is the older of the two, having been introduced in 2004 compared to 2008 for the Toyota. In fact, the Armada is the only model whose sales grew by double-digits, a pretty remarkable performance given the car’s age. Still, the fact that neither of the Japanese models can sell as much as a tenth of the GM quartet exemplifies just how hard it’s been for them to crack this segment. The sales chart is closed off by the Toyota Land Cruiser, which sells in small numbers and is positioned as a semi-premium offering in the US.

About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he’d moved to the US. In college he promised himself he’s buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman…
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